TORONTO - Husky Injection Molding Systems Inc. will relocate its U.S. large-tonnage injection press assembly operation to a GE Plastics facility in June. Husky announced April 5 that it will lease about 53,000 square feet of space at GE Plastics' Polymer Processing Development Center in Pittsfield, Mass. Husky will begin shipping presses of 1,000 tons and larger in October.
Husky has been assembling large presses at Epco's Fremont, Ohio, plant since 1991. Husky said in a news release that the GE site ``significantly increases'' its large-press manufacturing capability. The GE Plastics center, with total area of 170,000 square feet, has two 350-ton cranes and rail access within the building, and is close to major seaports for export shipping.
Epco, a division of John Brown Inc. of Warwick, R.I., will continue to offer rebuilding of Husky presses when Husky phases out its assembly at Fremont this summer. Husky has been using an undisclosed amount of space in a 75,000-square-foot plant. The largest press Husky assembled at Fremont was 2,915 tons.
Epco officials were unavailable for comment.
Husky will continue to make large-tonnage presses at its Dudelange, Luxembourg, facility for the European market, officials for the Bolton, Ontario, firm said.
Very large-tonnage injection presses - those with 1,200 tons of clamping force or more - have been among the fastest-growing the past several years, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. said.
SPI of Washington, measuring U.S.-made machines, said the category grew by 36.6 percent in 1994 and 58 percent in 1993. Very large machines have jumped from 45 units in 1992 to 97 in 1994. Those numbers do not include imports, which SPI reports hit 15 units in 1994.
GE Plastics spokeswoman Diana Nichols said her firm and Husky ``have no formal partnership beyond the landlord-tenant arrangement,'' but the companies can learn from each other because they sell to the same customers.
``We have other manufacturers' equipment in the center too,'' Nichols said in an April 5 telephone interview.
Husky said it will spend US$1.6 million for renovations and equipment at Pittsfield, where it will employ about 50 by the second year of operation. Initial orders for Pittsfield include two 4,400-ton presses, a 1,540-tonner and an 825-ton vertical machine. Three of the presses will be sold to auto-motive parts molders and one to an appliance parts molder.
Husky also operates a mold-making plant in Auburn, Mass., about 70 miles from Pittsfield. Husky recently announced it is building a spare parts distribution center in Buffalo, N.Y.